Pubs and clubs

Pubs and clubs in the Bowburn area – a summary

Below is a list of pubs and clubs in the Bowburn area. More detailed histories will be added, as sub-pages or attachments, as this website is developed.

There are currently two pubs and one club, plus a hotel with licensed bar: The Clarence Villa (formerly the Kicking Cuddy), the Oak Tree, Crow Trees Workmen’s Club and Bowburn Hall Hotel.

1. The oldest of these, The Clarence Villa, re-opened with that name restored in November 2013 but was re-named The Moderno Italian Farmhouse early in 2016. Before that it had been closed for nearly a year, for refurbishment, but had previously been called the Kicking Cuddy. Its official name, however, had been the Clarence Villa Hotel till the 1960s and it had been an inn since the 1870s. The Sonnet 43 micro-brewery beside it opened in 2012. (See detailed history of Clarence Villa.)

2. The Oak Tree, in Prince Charles Avenue, opened in the middle of the new Bowburn council estate in 1957.

3. Crow Trees Workingmen’s Social Club & Institute Ltd moved to its current premises, in back Durham Road West, in 1921. It was severely damaged by fire in 1923 but re-opened the following year. The club had previously been at nos. 3 & 4, Durham Road West (now Hello Masala), where it had opened in 1912. It replaced an earlier club, Bowburn & District Workmen’s Social Club & Institute, which had opened there in 1909 but lost its licence earlier in 1912, for drunkenness. Crow Trees Club made Club & Institute Union (C.I.U.) history by winning a court case which established that it was not the same organization as the one that had been closed down. (More about the early days of Bowburn’s clubs, including some extracts from early Club minutes in the secion about “Community buildings and organisations” on this site.)

4. Bowburn Hall Hotel – not to be confused with Bowburn Hall (aka Bowburn House), which had been the farmhouse at Bowburn farm, west of Durham Road – opened as a hotel in 1969. It had previously been called Bowburn Grange and was built to house Bell Brothers Ltd’s agents, in 1923.

Satellite view, thanks to Google maps,

showing location of pubs, past & present, in the Bowburn area


1. Kicking Cuddy / Clarence Villa Hotel

2. Oak Tree

3. Crow Trees WM Club

4. Bowburn Hall Hotel

5. Wheatsheaf / Cooperage

6. Hare & Greyhound

7. Pit Laddie

8. Bowburn Inn

9. Cassop Moor Inn

10. Heugh Hall Inn

11. pub of unknown name

12. Tursdale & Metal Bridge WMC

5. Of earlier pubs in the area, the most recent to close was The Cooperage, formerly the Wheatsheaf. This started life as the farmhouse of Crowtrees farm, where there was a public house by at least 1835. The present building dates from when a new pub was built in about 1890, which was extended in about 1910. (See detailed history of Crowtrees farm and the Wheatsheaf.)

The Cooperage closed on 31st January 2014. It is expected to be converted into a mini-store.

6. The Hare & Greyhound, on Durham Road, closed after its last licensee left in 2008. After standing empty for two years, it became an outlet for Factory Carpets & Laminates in 2010. The Hare & Greyhound was built in 1909, for J. Nimmo & Son Ltd., who had bought and demolished the earlier Hare & Hounds. That had been a public house since at least the 1850s, and may once have been a coaching inn.

7. The Pit Laddie was closed and demolished in 1967, to make way for Junction 61 of the A1 motorway. Although it was not shown as an inn on the first (1857) Ordnance Survey map, the 1851 census listed the occupation of Eleanor Herron, of Pit Laddie, Quarrington, as Inn Keeper and she was still there twenty years later. (See detailed history of Lamb’s Close farm and the Pit Laddie Inn.)

8. Bowburn Inn once stood where Bowburn Post Office is today, and part of the latter building may incorporate some of the earlier inn. It was no longer operating by 1857, nor probably by 1841. Thomas Wheatman, Publican, was listed at Bowburn, Quarrington, in the 1841 census. While this could have been at Bowburn Inn, it is more likely to have been the Hare & Hounds.

9. Cassop Moor Inn, aka “Dolly Cook’s”, served the hamlet of Cassop Moor and miners at its colliery. Its site is now beneath the A688 near the Cassop Moor roundabout. Before Dorothy Cook and her husband (who died in 1870) took over, it was run by her mother, Ann Purdy, who was listed as Publican in the 1851 census. The pub remained in use till about 1904, when Dolly Cook’s daughter, Mary Luke, died, eleven years after her mother.

10. Heugh Hall Inn served the hamlet of Old Quarrington and the miners of Heugh Hall colliery. The building was demolished in the mid-20th century and the site is now a garden between The Orchards and Forge Farm. It was run by William Forster and his wife, Ann, who continued after he died in 1850, till the 1860s. They also owned a brickworks at Old Quarrington.

11. Although Clarence Villa does not appear to have become an inn till the 1870s, there was previously a public house of unknown name nearby. It was on the site of what are now Wards’ stables, near Four Mile Bridge. (The 1857 OS map also shows another seven public houses and a hotel south of the bridge, at the bottom of Coxhoe!) In the 1841 census, two publicans were recorded as living at Coxhoe Bridge, Quarrington parish [i.e. north of Four Mile Bridge], in separate households. They were Nesbit Ross and George Turnbull. One of these may have run the pub on today’s stables site. If there was also another pub at that time, it has yet to be identified. James Story was listed as Butcher and Inn Keeper at Four Mile Bridge, Quarrington, in 1861. This may have been at the same unnamed pub. However he had previously worked as a Butcher and Innkeeper at West Hetton Houses, on the other side of the bridge, in Coxhoe parish.

12. There does not seem ever to have been a public house at Tursdale Colliery. However the Tursdale & Metal Bridge Working Men’s Club opened in 1920, in the former Thinford [Corn] Mill, just south of the colliery village, in Cornforth parish. After the club closed, the building opened again, as The Olde Mill Inn, in 1988.

(The Tursdale Inn was in Cornforth Lane, Coxhoe.)

Detailed histories of some of the above establishments are available either below or, where they were associated with farms, in this site’s section on Farms.